It wasn't like the loss to the Oakland Raiders.
It was a game where the Chargers fought to the end, despite losing almost a dozen player to injuries. It was a game where San Diego had a lead in the first half -- small, but still significant for a team that's been outscored 108-59 in the first two quarters coming into Week Eight.
It just wasn't enough. Again.
The Chargers fell to the Ravens in Baltimore, 29-26, and now sit at 2-6 on the season. They have yet to win a game on the road this year.
Here are some of the takeaways:
BOLTS BANGED UP
The Chargers have been dealing with injuries all season, but nothing like they experienced in the Ravens game. At least a dozen players left the game with various ailments -- most coming in the first quarter -- including T King Dunlap, DT Corey Liuget, WR Stevie Johnson, T Chris Hairston, WR Ladarius Green, DT Ricardo Matthews, LB Melvin Ingram, C Chris Watt, S Patrick Robinson, S Jimmy Wilson, CB Jason Verrett and WR Keenan Allen. Some returned, including Hairston and Johnson, but the damage was significant.
TE Antonio Gates was active after missing two weeks of practice (and sitting out the Raiders game) because of an MCL sprain, but was used sparingly. His best play came in the first quarter, when Rivers threw a short pass to Gates on third-and-five, which the tight end turned into a 30-yard gain.
Despite the injuries on offense, Rivers was impressive, completing 19 of 22 passes in the first half for 157 yards and two touchdowns. He finished the game 28 of 37 with 301 yards and three touchdowns. It was quintessential Rivers, who, when nothing is going right, still keeps the team in the game with his performance; however, it wasn’t enough to overcome the myriad of injuries and penalties sustained in the game.
The Chargers had 22 first downs, 15 of which came in the first half.
FLOYD, ALLEN SHOWED UP
Wide receiver Malcom Floyd caught two touchdowns -- including a 70-yarder, the longest of his 11-year career. Coming into Baltimore, Floyd had one touchdown through seven games.
Keenan Allen had five catches for 35 yards in the first half and one touchdown – a beauty, but a play that resulted in muscle spasms after hitting the ground hard. Allen would not return in the second half.
DEFENSE DID AND DIDN’T
San Diego’s defense held the Ravens to five field goals, which is a stat that could be interpreted as okay, except that – along with the Ravens' two touchdowns -- it was enough to give Baltimore the win.
After the Chargers tied it up on a 49-yard field goal by kicker Josh Lambo with 2:31 remaining in the game, the defense needed one more big stop on the Ravens' ensuing drive. It looked promising when, on third-and-19 at San Diego’s 43, quarterback Joe Flacco threw an incomplete pass to WR Kamar Aiken … but pass interference was called on CB Steve Williams, gifting the Ravens a new set of downs on the Chargers’ 22. A few plays later, Justin Tucker kicked a 39-yard field goal as time expired.
It was the third time in the last five games that the Chargers have had a game decided as the clock ran down (second loss).
Melvin Ingram, Kendall Reyes and Donald Butler each had a sack. Although not recorded as an official sack, Jerry Attaochu got to Flacco for a nine-yard loss during the final drive of the game.
Big plays – which have plagued the defense this season – were again a theme in the Ravens game, where the Chargers allowed plays of 46-yards and 39-yards (twice!) to the Ravens.
GORDON GOT GOING ... KINDA?
Melvin Gordon had 14 carries for 58 yards in last two games combined (and was sidelined for two quarters in each of those games). In first half of Ravens game, he had 14 carries for 44 yards, but didn’t see much playing time in the second half, finishing with 54 yards on 18 attempts (for an average of 3.0 yards per carry). He also had five catches for seven yards.
Behind Gordon, RB Branden Oliver had four carries for 18 yards; RB Danny Woodhead was 3-for-9 rushing and 2-for-36 receiving.
SEASON … SORRY?
The Chargers have now lost four straight and fall to 2-6 and worst in the division. While anything could happen, it’s safe to say it’s unlikely the team salvages any chance at a playoff run.